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Sunday Times Recommends: Bond on Bond

By Nadine Dreyer for the Sunday Times

I’m not sure I would have entrusted the future of the free world to Roger Moore’s James Bond.

Among his many annoying habits was that raised eyebrow, denoting irony. If you needed a guy to solve the mystery of the missing poodle from the village vicarage, I’m sure Rog would be your man. If you needed a guy to save the planet from bad-ass loonies? Really? He was the best they could do?

Remember when the awesome Jaws was let loose on the rather effete Roger in The Spy Who Loved Me? Why bother when a pair of household pliers would probably have done the trick?

Moore did many Bond movies. He stuck with the role until he was almost eligible for a pensioner’s discount on the bus; so he is more than qualified to write about it.

In Bond On Bond, we learn such juicy dinner-table trivia as when Noël Coward was approached to play the role of Dr No, he replied by telegram: “Dr No? No! No! No!”

Actor Richard Kiel, who played Jaws, was 2m tall and suffered from vertigo. “I don’t even like being this tall,” he moaned. This created special challenges when his character was supposed to climb to the top of Luxor’s Karnak temple.

The unspeakable George Lazenby, who thankfully only appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, had been a car salesman and model before his break. His inexperience didn’t stop him from behaving like a real chop and he would send the studio car back in the morning because he didn’t like the colour and eat garlic ahead of a love scene. At the first screening of his film, a 20th Century Fox executive commented: “You should have killed him and saved the girl.”

With loads of anecdotes, Moore’s take is a fun addition to any Bond collection and judging by Skyfall‘s huge success, our appetite for the stroppy secret agent is as undiminished as his proclivity for sheilas in C-cups.

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